When Diana Andrews posted two pictures of a gym goer to her Instagram page, she thought she’d made a silly joke. However, not many people saw the funny side. And some have since accused her of “body shaming,” an allegation she vehemently denies.
Diana Andrews comes from London, England. She works as a model and competitive bodybuilder and often takes part in contests around the U.K. As a result, she spends a lot of time at the gym in order to hone her muscles.
And her hard work has paid off in the past. In 2015 Andrews took part in the UKBFF ZKK Classic Championships in St. Albans, England. Furthermore, she finished in third place in the Open Figure Competition.
During her workouts, Andrews often shared photographs and videos of herself on social media. And her Instagram page proved to be so popular that 17,000 people followed her on the picture sharing site. However, one recent post shocked many of her fans.
Andrews had been in the gym when she spotted another woman using a treadmill. For some reason, she decided to pull out her phone and take a video. But it was what she wrote alongside the clip that caused the controversy.
The footage, which Andrews admitted was taken without her fellow gym goer’s permission, included a caption. In it, Andrews simply wrote “love handles,” apparently alluding to the woman’s body shape. But that wasn’t the only comment she made about the woman on the treadmill.
In a second post, Andrews added, “I bet she’s ordering for delivery,” alongside three hamburger emoticons. The post appeared to suggest the treadmill user was ordering takeout while in the gym. However, the insinuation didn’t go down well with some of Andrews’ followers.
Someone who saw Andrews’ posts later shared them on a women’s support group on Facebook. Alongside the screenshots, they wrote, “This is why most people hate going to the gym to try and better themselves.” Subsequently, some commenters criticized Andrews for mocking people who are trying to lose weight.
Many accused Andrews of “body shaming” the other woman. “Body shaming photos of other women at the gym. Totally not cool #dianaandrews,” read one tweet about the incident. Another user added, “Decent humans build others up, not tear them down #dianaandrews.”
Emmy Gilmour works at The Recover Clinic. The UK-based treatment center supports those with eating disorders. And after learning of Andrews’s posts, Gilmour said they were symptomatic of the society we live in.
“This is a really tragic example of a how society has conditioned women to judge and compare one another,” she told the Huffington Post. “We’re living in an era where it’s normal to tell women that they’re inadequate, and that they must apologize for how they look.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the United Kingdom Bodybuilding and Fitness Association also condemned Andrews’s behavior. The bodybuilder often takes part in competitions run by the organization, although according to a statement obtained by the Daily Mail she’s “not a paid-up member at the moment.”
“We are totally against this kind of thing,” the spokesperson told the Daily Mail. They went on to add, “We have already told her off and she has apologized. It is not very nice.”
Following the controversy around her gym posts, Andrews made her Instagram account private. She later took to Snapchat to make an apology of sorts. “I realized that I was wrong to make this silly joke,” she wrote. “It wasn’t my intention to body shame, hurt or disrespect anyone.”
Later, Andrews’ management team released a full statement on the bodybuilder’s website. It said she had apologized following the incident. Furthermore, it described the controversial posts as a “one-off indiscretion.”
The statement also claimed that Andrews had deleted the posts in question within 12 hours of them going live. Moreover, it added that only a small percentage of her followers had seen them. However, the statement went on to allege that someone had taken a screenshot of the updates and shared them online.
The statement continued with Andrews accepting there was “no excuse for” for her actions. It also went on to claim that the offending Instagram posts were out of character. “Everyone who knows about Diana Andrews’ career-long achievements of motivating, supporting, encouraging and inspiring many other women know that this one-off mistake does not define who she really is,” it read.
In a separate statement on Facebook, Andrews claimed, “I saw this girl walking on the treadmill talking on her phone. I made a video and added a comment that she’s probably ordering take away. The whole point of this video was that she’s using her phone while on the treadmill.”
In the post, reprinted by Metro, Andrews also denied she had intentionally body shamed the woman. “The whole story was turned upside down by taking a screenshot and adding comments that I’m body shaming this woman,” she wrote. “I would never do this, it’s not who I am.”
Finally, the statement on Andrews’ website ended by reaching out to the victim of her posts. “I repeat my apology to the fellow gym-user,” Diana added. “I hope that the determined lady will achieve her personal fitness goals. And, I stand ready to assist her if requested.”